My top ten theatre productions of 2012 so far

Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins in Constellations. Photo Simon Annand

I am not good with deadlines. Not so much that I miss them but I like pushing the boundaries, doing things last minute. So blogging about my top ten theatre productions for the first half of the year some time in September is entirely in character. And everyone knows the year truly starts in September, right? (That’s my excuse anyway).

Before we move onto the actual list, a little teaser: There are four play starting with C and four plays revolving around exact sciences. It’s fair to say any play starting with C and about exact science is likely to be a huge hit with me. There are two productions from the Sheffield Crucible (more often than not, plays I see in Sheffield end up on my top ten list, Daniel Evans has done a great job), two adaptations by Simon Stephens (as well as being a great writer, he has been everywhere this year), and two plays starring John Heffernan.

In strictly alphabetical order, my top ten theatre productions for the first half of the year: Continue reading

The Hamlet Challenge Entry No 2: Copenhagen at Sheffield theatres

Before going to Sheffied this past Thursday, I knew very little about Michael Frayn’s play Copenhagen. Something about nuclear physics and the bomb. I quite like not knowing anything about a play, all part of discovering everything in the moment.

Geoffrey Streatfeild as Heisenberg in Copenhagen Photo by Manuel Harlan

In the end, Copenhagen proved a superb play in a superb production. The play itself reminded me of Arcadia, with its visceral approach of ideas, science, morality & mortality. I think that Arcadia might be the best play ever written, so anything that comes close is a masterpiece.

You can call the production challenging, but that might miss the point. It was challenging, both because it presents something important and profound, but also because of the challenge of hanging on in a fabulous emotional and intellectual ride. Like skiing down a slope, a motif of the play itself. Continue reading